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Bladen County Schools Shares New Opportunities and Programs with WCU 

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By Cara Beth Lewis 

From Bladen County Schools: On August 24th, Bladen County Schools shared the following information on their website, regarding opportunities and new programs, with assistance from Western Carolina University. 

“Western Carolina University has been working diligently to expand the teacher preparation pipeline by adding alternative pathways for teachers working on Residency Licenses. To that end, we are excited to announce the creation of new programs in Art Education and English Education in addition to our programs in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and STEM education. Of course, our Special Education and Birth-Kindergarten programs remain options as well.

WCU has been preparing teachers since 1889 and our dedication is unwavering. We are thrilled to be able to support your candidates as we look for innovative ways to expand the teacher pipeline in our state. We look forward to working with you and invite you to contact Rachel Wike ( with any questions.”

What is an Alternative Licensure? 

(From “If you are a college graduate looking for a career change, Western Carolina University’s alternative licensure programs may be a good fit for you. An alternate route to teaching in NC allows you to obtain a position and begin teaching right away, without any prior teacher training or experience. This route is known as Residency License. Residency license replaced “lateral entry” in 2019. A Residency License teacher must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Holds a bachelor’s degree
  • Has either a completed coursework relevant to the requested licensure area or passed the content area examination relevant to the requested licensure area that has been approved by the State Board
  • Is enrolled in a recognized educator preparation program
  • Meets all other requirements established by the State Board, including completing pre service requirements prior to teaching”